A company aiming to operate services through the Channel Tunnel in competition with Eurostar has agreed to purchase 12 trains, it said.
Evolyn has stated that it is ready to invest £1 billion in its bid to start cross-Channel rail services in 2025.
The project has been in development for three years, and this initial investment of 12 trains could rise up to 16 if the project proves to be successful in its first phase.
The newly formed company is believed to be led by the Spanish based Cosmen family, key investors in Mobico, the new name for National Express, which has just issued a profit warning ahead of its 2023 results. However, the rest of the consortium has yet to be identified although is expected to feature both British and French investors.
Jorge Cosmen, chief executive officer of EVOLYN, said: “The acquisition of 12 high-speed, state-of-the-art trains, to be expanded to a minimum of 16 according to our forecasts, is the definitive step in the materialisation of EVOLYN, a high-speed rail operator that has been under development for three years and that today marks a very important milestone.
“We know that the governments of the United Kingdom and France welcome a project that will allow their citizens to increase the connection options between the UK and several countries in continental Europe with a green alternative that will also contribute to decarbonisation.”
It is anticipated that Evolyn will be using one of the industry’s most popular high speed train models, the Avelia range developed by Alstom.
The Evolyn project will be the first operator introduced on the channel tunnel in just over 30 years, with Eurostar being the sole operator in that time.